Mike Lull or Sadowsky? (with a twist)

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Mikaelbass, Dec 25, 2012.

  1. Mikaelbass

    Mikaelbass Supporting Member

    May 29, 2011
    Sydney, Australia
    Hello everyone and Merry Christmas from Australia!

    I will be in the position to acquire a high end bass for myself, in the NYC sadowsky kind of price range. Currently my bass of choice is my Gibson Thunderbird w/flatwound strings as i get huge amounts of low end and strong focused mids which i require in my music. I primarily play pickstyle due to stylistic reasons within my band but I also enjoy fingerstyle in most other musical situations. To give you an idea of the sound I go for, it is very large and thick slightly overdriven sound (SVT-VR) and I also use a synth pedal for distortion.

    Now, my idea is to get a bass made for me like I have always wanted (Sadowsky modern shape, with ebony board and black hardware) but I am unsure of what pickups to use to fit the sound I need. This brings me to thinking about the Mike Lull T5 as it will certainly fit within my needs, only I do not find the headstock appealing. So I am asking those of you out there with any wisdom as what would be a good course of action? Are there any Sadowsky pickups which will fit my situation? Perhaps the modern soapbars in the classic J position with the Mid Freq boost option?

    Cheers in advance:bassist:
  2. atheos


    Sep 28, 2008
    Tampere, Finland
    Have you asked Mike if he would build you a T5 with a different headstock?
  3. Mikaelbass

    Mikaelbass Supporting Member

    May 29, 2011
    Sydney, Australia
    No, I haven't actually, I hadn't thought of that as it appears to be his signature style headstock. I sent off an email to his company and haven't received a reply in over a week or so.
  4. sok monkee

    sok monkee Supporting Member

    Jun 20, 2007
    Burlington N.C.
    Call the NYC shop and ask for Kevin let him know what your specific tone goals are and style of playing. They have the best customer service! I have seen all variations of there Modern loaded with Norstrand Big singles, Big Splits and there own dual coil pickup. I've seen them in jazz positions and modern position. Good luck in your search!
  5. Mikaelbass

    Mikaelbass Supporting Member

    May 29, 2011
    Sydney, Australia
    Thanks sok monkee! I might just do that, being an international call it may cost a bit but I'll see about that, I sent Roger an email regarding this topic and informed him about the tone I was looking for, but it is the holiday season so I don't expect a reply till at least past the first few days of the new year.

    I've predominantly seen Sadowsky's played in music and by players which is not close to the style I am in at all (heavy/blues think The Dead Weather kind of thing). I just dont think IMO there is a better looking bass a sadowsky with beautiful wood and black hardware....dayum.
  6. The beauty in a Mike Lull headstock is in it’s light weight simplicity; yet it still give a nod to it’s fender roots. It’s a function over forum thing. Play a lull bass if possible before making a decision. The necks are amazing. Mike is a bass player, and awesome builder. Rodger is an awesome builder. A Lull bass has the sound, but it is also the best feeling bass I have played. And I have many high end basses, from Alembic to Tobias.
  7. Mikaelbass

    Mikaelbass Supporting Member

    May 29, 2011
    Sydney, Australia
    I just had a thought that maybe I could source two Mike lull Tbird pickups in black and use them for a Sadowsky build? although I am not sure if that would be an option....the idea is kind of sick though...

    Unfortunately there are no mike lull dealers in Sydney anymore! And no way for me to try out a NYC sadowsky.
  8. zortation


    Dec 26, 2011
    Toronto, ON
    Suhr Classic J
  9. thisSNsucks

    thisSNsucks Supporting Member

    Dec 19, 2004
    Yonkers, NY
    I'm with you on the Lull headstock design for the Tbird, its not bad, I just prefer the true Gibson styled headstock.

    As for your concerns with the sadowsky, i would say go for a P/J pickup combo. You'll get nice midrange from the P pickup, good burp from the J pickup and plenty of low end from the Sadowsky Preamp. You may also want to consider going with a Will Lee model for the extra midrange boost.
  10. Gougedeye

    Gougedeye Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2008
    Central Washington
  11. bass12

    bass12 And Grace, too Supporting Member

    Jun 8, 2008
    Montreal, Canada
    You've said that you've always wanted a Sadowsky Modern shape, so I'd go that route. I'd talk to Roger and tell him what you're looking for tone-wise. He'll be able to guide you in terms of pickup type and positioning. As for using "outside" pickups (non-Sadowsky) for a Sadowsky build I highly doubt that's an option. But it never hurts to ask I suppose...
  12. bass12

    bass12 And Grace, too Supporting Member

    Jun 8, 2008
    Montreal, Canada
  13. Mikaelbass

    Mikaelbass Supporting Member

    May 29, 2011
    Sydney, Australia
    I just can't get past that headstock, it would be a lot of money to spend for something that isn't just how I want it, especially with something so noticeable such as the head stock.

    After looking through recently sold I have noticed "will lee" models that look nothing like a will lee, except for the smaller nut and the mid switch, so perhaps a Modern 5-24 P/J with the mid switch might be just what I need. And a 1 3/4 nut would be a neck I am familiar with.
  14. I'm surprised you don't like the Lull headstock. It has great lines and no extra fluff. I have a harder time with the Sadowsky headstock - have never been able to like it. Then again, some people hate the Fender headstock.

    Each to his own.

    And whatever you get, I'm sure you won't be dissapointed!
  15. Bardolphus

    Bardolphus Put some stank on it... Supporting Member

    Jan 8, 2007
    Austin, Texas
    Call the Sadowsky shop before you get too settled in on the Will Lee preamp with the mid switch on a non-WL model. They've only recently began to make other pickup options available for that model and have not previously offered the WL preamp on any other models. So, while you can get a WL with soaps or PJ config now, it's only been with the WL spec necks (22 fret; 1.45 nut on a 4 string or 1.75 nut on a 5 string).

    On the other hand, they'll gladly shape the neck on another model in the style of the WL but you're not (at least last I heard) going to get anything other than a WL model with the mid switch.

    Hope that makes sense, I'm in what a believe is a quasi smoked turkey coma.
  16. Mikaelbass

    Mikaelbass Supporting Member

    May 29, 2011
    Sydney, Australia
    I think the reason behind my dislike for the lull headstock is my very first bass was a really bad sx p bass back in the 90's and it had pretty much an identical headstock, triggers something in my mind..... haha

    I suppose I am being hopeful about them doing so much but one can hope. I suppose the 22 fret neck with a modern control layout would be just fine also.

    I will contact the shop to work something out, although I somehow think that a pj 5 with flatwounds would have a thick mid-to low end, im not so much about the high's or clanky-ness.

    So many finish options with Sadowsky too! I can see why people get more than one....so many variations, plain black or spalted maple top with 59 burst? first world problems, right

  17. Agree on the Lull headstock. It just doesn't work for me. Those T Birds are lovely though.
  18. madbassplaya


    Dec 28, 2007
    Let me say that I love what Roger does. He truly cares about his customers and understands his basses are an investment. I've emailed him on occasion and he always responds promptly. There's a movie about the Sadowsky company on Youtube. Its worth a watch.

    With all that being said, I'm not sure why you're going with a Sadowsky other than looks, lol. It sounds like you want an old school tone but to me the "Sadowsky tone" is a very modern one.

    I hope you can get what you want!
  19. Fuzzbass

    Fuzzbass P5 with overdrive Supporting Member

    Sadowsky Guitars is closed this week for the holidays (just as you suspected).

    I feel similarly about the Lull headstock. It's not bad, but not my thing. Clarification: for some reason I think it works on their fivers, but not their fours.

    I've owned Lull and Sadowsky basses and give the edge to Sadowsky (big reason: I prefer 34" scale even on five string), but as others have said, it's a win/win -- both offer outstanding instruments.
  20. Dave W

    Dave W Supporting Member

    Mar 1, 2007
    White Plains
    I'm not really a fan of the Lull headstock either. I love my Sadowsky though.